'I am married to theatre'

'I am married  to theatre'

Just before The Bureaucrat was about to be staged at Stein Auditorium, IHC, a tense Rajit Kapur was seen making the rounds for final arrangements, stage set ups and sound. “I still get nervous,” confessed the talented actor when Metrolife caught up with him for a candid chat after the show.

As the producer of the play, the signs of anxiety were obvious on his face. “I am only the producer but still, I am part of a team. Others can give orders over the phone but I can’t dissociate myself from the team. I started my career as a backstage artist and I know they do immense hardwork which does not get appreciated.”

Rajit loves a “live audience” which “makes a huge difference” in theatre. According to him, “Theatre is actually a human exchange” where the performer and audience share a chemistry.

“Not all but I have given most of my life to theatre. It is part of my blood stream and I feel a different kind of energy or chemistry in theatre because everything is right there!”
However, the actor is very particular about comedy. “There is a thin line between being comic and being funny. Comedy requires a situation and a satirical edge and needs to be presented without unde­r­lining it too much.”

And while he agrees that the demand for comic plays has increased he also points out that the standard of what is being provided has declined. “When we get enquiries for performances, the first question that is put up to us is ‘Is it a comedy?’ and then I have to clarify that we don’t do such shows. We don’t decide the genre before writing the play but make sure that the subject is exciting. So even if we use ‘F’ words, there is a need for them in the play.”

Fondly remembered as Byomkesh Bakshi of the small screen and Mahatma Gandhi (in Shyam Benegal’s The Making of the Mahatma) Rajit says, “I repose great faith in my director. So when I was offered Zubeidaa by Shyam Benegal, my instant reply was ‘Kuch hai hi nai mere kehne ko’ but the ace director made the entire film from the perspective of my character.”

Rajit will soon be seen as a cop in a Hindi film based in Delhi which has “regular rape scenes in it” and will be playing an Afghan in Shrijit Mukherjee’s Bengali film as he waits for Deepti Naval’s Do Paise ki Dhoop Chaar Aane ki Barish. “They don’t have a marketing budget. I just had a word with Deepti and she is helpless.” Any role that he wishes he would have played? “Irfan’s character in Paan Singh Tomar!”

Any plans of changing the marital status? “As of now I am married to theatre,” he smiles and signs off.

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